BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland taxpayers will have three extra months to file their 2021 state individual income taxes.

Maryland is extending the filing and payment deadline for individual income taxes until July 15 to help families struggling financially due to the pandemic, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Wednesday.

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“We decided on this deadline extension because Marylanders are still feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of our small businesses are still feeling that,” Franchot said. “Three extra months will help ease the financial burden on taxpayers who owe us money.”

The deadline extension will be applied automatically, Franchot said, and it will not have any impact on Marylanders who are planning to file their state income taxes when the state begins accepting returns on Jan. 24.

It also has no bearing on the state’s corporate income taxes, which are currently being processed as scheduled.

Even as the Internal Revenue Service warns Americans to anticipate processing delays during the 2022 tax season, the agency has not signaled any plans to delay the federal tax deadline past April 18.

This marks the third straight year the state has extended its individual income tax deadline as part of an effort to provide financial relief to taxpayers, Franchot said, many of whom have struggled to make ends meet due to the pandemic.

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Franchot said previous extensions have helped an estimated 600,000 taxpayers by letting them hang on to roughly $1 billion a year in what amounts to an interest-free loan from the state.

“The extensions have allowed taxpayers who are struggling to use that money towards immediate issues,” the comptroller said. “They can now use it for paying rent, for example, or keeping their business open.”

Franchot said Marylanders who plan to file their taxes on time can still do so.

“The beauty of this is that it’s self-selecting because almost all Marylanders who do not have financial problems will send us their tax payments,” he said. “But those who truly need it will be able to take this as an option.”

Franchot also reminded taxpayers about potentially beneficial changes to both the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and the state Earned Income Credit.

“These important credits are a proven tool to help lift low-to-moderate income earners out of poverty,” he said. “All taxpayers should check whether they’re eligible for the program, which can substantially reduce or even eliminate your federal and state tax liabilities.”

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Marylanders can make appointments online with the comptroller’s office for assistance handling their tax filings, as walk-ins will not be accepted. Residents can also use the free I-File system.

CBS Baltimore Staff